MS Laptop Ads Hurting Apple's Image, Study Suggests

Dennis Faas's picture

In a recent study Microsoft surpassed Apple in value perception scores, meaning those participating felt they got more value when purchasing a Windows PC.

The study, launched by advertising trackers BrandIndex, included some 5,000 people and lasted several months. Research began right around the same time Microsoft revved up its popular and controversial ad campaign dubbed "Laptop Hunters," which follows real consumers challenged by the Redmond firm to find the cheapest laptop with a specific set of features. Most of the time they settle on PCs for about $500 to $1,000, making premium Apple products appear very overpriced.

Laptop Hunters Slay Apple's Popularity

Of course, critics argue that we're only seeing the happiest, most joyful part of the ownership process. We miss out on all those fun issues that come after a laptop is purchased, including software incompatibility complaints, screen resolution problems, and overheating kerfuffles. Clearly, Apple and its supporters feel that regardless of how much you pay, the consumer usually ends up getting precisely what they pay for.

Regardless, the study shows that more consumers are becoming convinced that Microsoft products and PCs are where the value's at. Apple's value perception score at the end of February was a very impressive 70, but since that time has plummeted to a measly 12. Microsoft, by contrast, has grown from a dreadful zero to a very respectable rating of 43, about triple Apple's current value perception. (Source:

Microsoft "has started to hit back."

BrandIndex is convinced the turnaround has something to do with the Laptop Hunter campaign. "Apple did a great job of putting Microsoft on the defensive," said director Ted Marzilli. "It made them look old, stodgy, complicated to use and unhip. But Microsoft has started to hit back, and younger folks are more cost- or value-focused."

Apple's fortunes might soon change. Analysts speculate that the company could soon land its products on Wal-Mart shelves, placing MacBook and company back in the public limelight. (Source:

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